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Member

Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 6

Used Computer

01/27/2012 9:23 AM

Dear members.

What do you consider used computers as waste.

Is that hazardous waste?

How do you discard that? Send to waste treatment provider?

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Power-User

Join Date: May 2009
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#1

Re: used computer

01/27/2012 9:39 AM

We pull the boards to send to recycler, pull the hard drives and take them to the farm to use as target practice and sell the cases as steel scrap.

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#2

Re: Used Computer

01/27/2012 10:00 AM

No computer shops where your at? Take it to them let them scrap anything useable from it they want. They will take care of recycling the rest. There are places that reclaim the precious metals on circuit boards. And yes in some areas electronic are considered hazardous waste with restriction on their disposal.

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#3

Re: Used Computer

01/27/2012 3:11 PM

I put them on the curb and they magically disappear.

People will take anything. I put out a broken toilet once and it did not last a day.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Used Computer

01/27/2012 6:23 PM

Did you label it as an "antique Tasmanian throne"?

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#5
In reply to #4

Re: Used Computer

01/27/2012 6:51 PM

Why bother? I would be thinking the people that took it probably couldn't read.

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#6
In reply to #3

Re: Used Computer

01/27/2012 9:55 PM

Yes, the wife insisted on her own seat....

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#10
In reply to #6

Re: Used Computer

01/28/2012 7:52 AM

Ah! That's where it went!

Happy to see it put back in service.

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#8
In reply to #3

Re: Used Computer

01/28/2012 2:42 AM

How it broke? Tough s#*T?

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#12
In reply to #3

Re: Used Computer

01/29/2012 3:00 PM

In my neck of the woods anything I just put out on the curb will sit there forever and rot. However if I put a sign "FOR SALE $100" on it, it will be gone by next morning.

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#14
In reply to #12

Re: Used Computer

01/29/2012 9:45 PM

Yeah, and where is your $100?

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#7

Re: Used Computer

01/28/2012 12:04 AM

You don't say where you are located, so we can't be sure about the laws in your area. Yes, computers ARE hazardous waste.

Here in California there are many places that accept electronic waste for no charge, including some electronics stores and most if not all solid waste transfer stations.

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#9

Re: Used Computer

01/28/2012 3:20 AM

Google "WEEE Directive" for the state of play in Europe.

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#11

Re: Used Computer

01/28/2012 11:56 AM

I am using my computer and do not consider it waste.

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#13
In reply to #11

Re: Used Computer

01/29/2012 8:37 PM

You WILL, Big H. You WILL! Maybe not this year or next, but sooner or later, you gonna wonder how to get rid of the boat anchor with the hard drive.

Computer waste is normally recycled into a mining operation which takes out the gold. The gold in computer waste is of a much higher percentage than the gold in high grade gold ore out of the ground. To toss computers into landfill is just..well, just wrong!

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#15
In reply to #13

Re: Used Computer

01/30/2012 1:23 PM

I am a self confessed hoarder and is ready for that day.

I have old computers and stuff stored in a storeroom (started about 1976).

In 1982 I did some work for a precious metal trader and decided to strip an HP board of all the (claimed) gold contact pins in sell it to him. To my surprise (confirmed under a microscope) the pins was only gold plated and not worth much.

But as you said times are changing.

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#16
In reply to #15

Re: Used Computer

01/30/2012 2:44 PM

If it was HP (or any quality board), the contact is actually copper which is first nickel plated, then gold plated.

I've been told that the copper atoms will over time migrate through the gold and oxidize if the gold is directly plated on the copper. The layer of nickel stops that migration, so the contacts stay pure gold and don't oxidize. Supposedly it is possible to observe the presence of the nickel using its magnetic properties, but I have not verified that.

Of course gold is not the only valuable material used in making computers; the recycling undoubtedly recovers several others.

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#17
In reply to #16

Re: Used Computer

01/31/2012 11:42 AM

Gold is extracted by first pulverizing it into very fine powder, floated on froth, then soaking the gold in a cyanide solution.

This is not done by the faint of heart, and is NOT a Do it Yourself process.

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#18
In reply to #17

Re: Used Computer

01/31/2012 3:34 PM

Or by amalgamation with mercury which is then 'boiled off'

This is why a lot of "recyclers" send electronics stuff to Africa as 3rd world job creation - bless their caring hearts.

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#19
In reply to #18

Re: Used Computer

01/31/2012 3:57 PM

They don't do that much any more because if the potential dangers. However, when there is already a lot of mercury in the mix, they still pack a retort and smoke out the mercury.

So long as I am not downwind....

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#20
In reply to #19

Re: Used Computer

01/31/2012 4:26 PM

"They" being the large mining companies in 1st world operations.

Asia and Africa are a little different, particularly at what you might call 'village industry' level.

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#21
In reply to #20

Re: Used Computer

02/03/2012 9:10 AM

Very true.

I like cyanide. I used to use it to do my gold plating until they banned its use here in Canada.

Cyanide. I regard it as a very benign poison...quite natural, and even tasty in small quantities. VERY small quantities. But there is no safe limit for mercury. I guess people don't like to see the word cyanide on the bottles in my plating shop, so they made me get rid of it. But at least it breaks down in the environment, unlike mercury.

That link contains interviews with miners who feel that mercury is even good for you...makes you stronger! Hmmm. Reminds me of my uncles who said right up to the day the died "that smoking...its good for you. Kills germs. I never had a cold. Look at me...healthy as a horse." And yes, they all DID die of lung cancer. So much for self diagnosis....grin!

Too bad it takes so long to kill off the stupid ones. But...I digress...

Lots of people refine gold right here in North America. They use mostly Aqua Regia, but honestly, nitric acid! Crikey!

I have heard from a lot of people who have tried to refine their own gold out of electronic scrap, and they can usually get twenty bucks worth of gold by using up a hundred dollars worth of chemicals. Plus thousands of man hours. But as one fella said on that site...."Look at gold as the contaminent, and melt out the copper. You get a FAR better Return on Investment with copper ingots!"

I think if you feed electronic scrap into a full size factory ore processor, you can get good results. But I am not "into" the recycling world, so I don't know. This field (of recycling e waste) is changing fast, and would likely be an excellent area for a newly minted engineer to get into.

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